Barents Observer / Norilsk Nickel - Russian Arctic-class cargo vessel returned yesterday, tuesday, to harbour in Dudinka after being first in history to navigate throught the Arctic waters without any ice-breaker support. The vessel travelled through the Northern Sea Route by Russian Arctic coastline to Shanghai and back taking total of 58 days, total steaming time of 41 days, for the trip. Total length of the round trip Dudinka-Providence Bay-Busang-Shanghai-Nakhodka-Dudinka was 11,320 miles from which approximately half was in clear water and half in ices.
According to Sergey Buzov, Deputy General Director – Head of Transport and Logistics unit of MMC Morilsk Nickel the trip was an invaluable experience, which they will use in future to plan their transport operations and can endeed be regarded as the Company's contribution to the development of Russian Maritime Declaration in exploration and development of new Arctic regions and Arctic wealth.
At the moment Company owns five ARC-7 ice-class vessels for Arctic transportation and the sixth will be introduced in 2011. The vessels are built in accordance with latest environmental and technological standards enabling them to navigate independently through Arctic ice without ice-breaker support.